KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List


Shamim Masih writes about Islamic Supremacism once again persecuting Christians in Pakistan by targeting unregistered Churches with closure under the poor excuse of security.

 

JRH 1/20/18

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KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List

 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan (formerly NWFP)

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/19/2018 9:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa [alternate spelling: Pakhtunkhwa] (KPK) province in Pakistan has sealed at least six Churches in district Abbottabad in the name of security after the United States placed Pakistan name in the Special Watch List. The officials claimed that only non-registered churches are closed. On the other hand, the KP govt. has announced monthly honorarium for 20, 000 Muslim clerics in the province.

 

According to the details the district administration at Abbottabad has officially ordered to close as many as six churches in the name of security and said the churches being established in the rental houses and non-registered are closed due to security risk. The District Police Officer (DPO) Syed Ashfaq said in his official statement that those churches have been sealed which had not been registered with the Auqaf Department.

 

According to 27th Convention of the United Nations, Pakistan is liable to take steps for the safety, protection of minorities and women rights and religious freedom in the country. And on January 04, 2018, the US placed Pakistan name in the list of those countries which are alleged violating minorities rights and religious freedom. Being on the Watch List means Pakistan is a step away from included in the “Countries of Particular Concern” list. The list includes “governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

 

In the meantime, on January 8, 2018, KP govt. proved it that religious minorities are not free to perform their religious services at their homes and even cannot worship in the rental houses they live in. To a rough estimate more than 10000 Christians live in and around Hazara Division and 5000 in Abbottabad district. And many of them are bared to perform their ceremonial and routine religious services.

 

Meanwhile, the Christian community across the country have termed the move as unjustified. Father Arshad Nayer, the local priest from Roman Catholic denomination said, “it would give a bad message if the government continued to seal worship places of religious minorities over minor issues.” Instead of providing security to the said churches the administration is on to close them, and it is violation of religious freedom. The poor Christians do not have enough resources to construct independent new church buildings, he added.

 

Pastor Christopher Shakar, one victim [of a closed Church – perhaps], said that his father Akram Shakar has started the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church (EPC) in 1985, and now he has taken this responsibility for seven years. On the celebration of the Christmas, the district administration has interrupted during the sermon and asked to close the service. This is violation of religious freedom given in the constitution of country. Another church, Assemblies of God has been established some 50 years back and now Pastor in charge Saleem Ghori is running it in his own house is also closed under the said so called security risk.

 

Chairman Community Development Foundation (CDF) Basharat Khokher strongly condemned the move by the KP govt. and termed it prejudicial behavior toward religious minorities in Pakistan. Talking on religious freedom, he said that the step taken by KP govt. is discriminatory and biased; the KP government is paying billions of rupees to Muslim clerics in the province and shutting down Christian worship places. From this move, it clearly shows that there is no religious freedom in the country and government imposed restriction and tries to snub the rights of minorities.

 

When asked Shireen Mazari, a senior Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) leader and member parliament, she said PTI is very clear in giving rights to minorities and not in the favor of closing any worship places. PTI central secretariat has sought written reply from CM KP Parvez Khattak on the matter of closure of 6 churches in Abbottabad district. The CM has been asked to explain the causes and motives leading to closure of churches. In a statement chairman PTI Imran Khan said that all the minorities enjoy full freedom of religion under the constitution of Pakistan. He said the PTI believes in full freedom of minorities, adding that such steps by the provincial government create a negative impression in the international community.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

 

 

Shamim Masih 

 

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless


Several days ago, Shamim shared about the U.S./Pakistan foreign affairs dispute over the State Department placing Pakistan on a special watch list relating to violations of religious freedom.

 

Shamim is a brave Pakistani Christian willing to criticize Pakistan’s lack of human rights against religious minorities. In Pakistan if you are not a Sunni Muslim, you can expect horrid discrimination up to and including violence, rape or even murder. Pakistani victims of this designation are often ignored in the legal system and oft times face the law for reporting victimizing crimes.

 

JRH 1/11/18

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Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/8/2018 10:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: There is an uproar in Pakistan after placing its name on a Special Watch List by the United States on the issue of religious freedom and Pakistan rejected U.S. decision and considered it as “Politically motivated”. Pakistan said on Friday that it “rejects the U.S. designation” and that the report is “not based on objective criteria”. “This placement on special watch list is a new categorization and we would be seeking clarification from the U.S. regarding its rationale and implications,” a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

 

“It is surprising that countries that have a well-known record of systematic persecution of religious minorities have not included in the list,” the statement added. “This reflects the double standards and political motives behind the listing and hence lacks credibility.”

 

Earlier in a statement, issued on Thursday, January 4, 2018, the U.S. state department added Pakistan to a Special Watch List, while re-designating a group of other countries as being of “particular concern” on the issue of religious freedom. The State Department spokesman, Heather Nauert said in a statement that the number of governments infringe upon individuals’ ability to adopt, change, or renounce their religion or belief.” “In for too many places around the globe, people continue to be persecuted, unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief”.

 

Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the U.S. annually designates countries of particular concern, and Thursday’s statement re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “The Secretary also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom,” Nauert said.

 

Let me tell you; though it makes no difference if the U.S. places Pakistan on a Special Watch list, but there are some facts which cannot be denied. Pakistan was declared an Islamic Republic where both the President and Prime Minister were required to be Muslims and Islam was the state religion. It promotes a certain Islamic mindset and the constitution called for the setting up of a Council of Islamic Ideology, comprising religious scholars and experts, to enforce the repugnancy clause. And number of discriminatory laws e.g. blasphemy laws are added in the constitutions against religious minorities and thus minorities are being targeted and facing challenges in Pakistan.

 

Now it is not only the matter of religious freedom for minorities but women are also suffering the same. Pakistan is the fourth worst country for women according to recently released ranking of the Women, Peace and Security Index. Isn’t it a fact that minorities in Pakistan are being unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief? According to the World Report 2017, at least 19 people remained on death row after being convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy law and hundreds awaited trial. Most of those facing blasphemy are members of religious minorities, often victimized by these charges due to personal disputes. The government continued to actively encourage legal and procedural discrimination against members of the Christians and Ahmadi religious community by failing to repeal discriminatory laws. Most recently, a week before Christmas celebrations two suicide bombers attacked a Church packed with worshipers on Sunday in Quetta, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically.

 

Suspects accused have no hope

 

Earlier former parliamentarian raised question on unequal, unjust role of law by the judiciary and authorities. Pakistan Today reported, “Former MP, Sindh Assembly Saleem Khokhar has demanded the release of 40 suspects in the Youhanabad lynching incident in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Khokher said that just like the Faizabad agreement, where all the cases were dropped against the protesters, the Youhanabad suspects should be released as soon as possible.” “Just because we don’t have weapons and that we are a minority, the state won’t do an agreement with us,” he questioned? He demanded that the same law should be applied to the Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Chief Khadim Rizvi and his supporters. They were involved in killing a police officer and beating several others, while also harming the state property, why were they all released? Since I am writing this there is no response from the authorities yet and two of the suspects [Indaryas Ghulam & Usman Masih] of Youhanabad have died during their custody and third one on the row.

 

The Christian community is one of the most persecuted minorities in Pakistan with a sudden surge in riots, mob lynching, target killings and bomb blasts targeting their congregations and Churches in the recent decade. And there is no rule of law and freedom and manifestation of religion and expression. This is very unfortunate that this community either cannot produce any visionary leader to fight for their rights or there are many so called leaders and thus they remained voiceless since partition of the subcontinent. However, I feel that there is a bigger need to look inward to ensure the rights and freedom of religious minorities, especially Christians.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

I Beg to Differ


hypocrit-defined

Shamim writes of the Islamic moral hypocrisy in its application to Pakistan religious minorities, especially Pakistani Christians.

 

JRH 3/1/17

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I Beg to Differ

 

By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

Sent 3/1/2017 8:53 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Various cities in the upper parts of Pakistan were jolted by earthquake tremors on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I heard one of my friend saying that God is angry with us and thus there are earthquakes and other natural disasters etc.  It is common practice in Pakistani society; especially Muslim prayer leader decry in Friday prayer sermon counting the possible reasons why God is angry and reasons of natural disasters. The major reasons quoted are: selling alcohol, committing adultery especially during Ramanza [aka Ramadan], Women going out for shopping in the markets, co-education system and youth using mobile phones and latest technology. These are botched up priorities and it is very painful to see the priority list of do’s and don’ts of the Moulanas.***

 

[***Blog Editor: As an American blogger, I was not certain what a “Moulana” was. Google-America was not cooperative. That search suggested alternative spellings. In the context of Shamim’s paragraph I am going to guess two Google alternatives: Maulana and Mawlānā.

 

Maulana (The Free Dictionary):

 

     n. Islam

 

  1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.

  2. Used as a courtesy title for sucha leader or scholar.

 

Mawlānā (Wikipedia):

 

Mawlānā (/mɔːˈlɑːnə/; from Arabic مولانا, literally “our lord/master”)[1] is a title, mostly in Central Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, preceding the name of respected Muslim religious leaders, in particular graduates of religious institutions, e.g. a madrassa or a darul uloom, or scholars who have studied under other Islamic scholars. ***]

 

Looking analytically, what is agonizing is when mentioning sins, the sin of telling a lie, cheating, hypocrisy, bribery, killing poor and innocent people, injustice from bottom to top, child abuse even in Madrisas (seminaries), the religious leadership and elders of the society conveniently overlook adulteration of foodstuff and medicines. I am not a supporter to those mentioned above but we can realize that selling wine would be one or few persons, the rest are teetotalers. Fornication would be an individual act. So how comes so grave a sin in the whole society? These could be sins but major sins are overlooked and moulana sahib [Islamic titular veneration] straight away jumps to mention drinking, dancing, modern dressing and using cell phones etc. etc.

 

For those who believe, God is actually unhappy because of our botched-up priorities. Bribery is now accepted as norm, people give false testimony in sensitive legal cases like blasphemy and then proudly mention it to others. (It is pertinent to mention that in giving testimony usually an oath is taken on Religious books) Telling lies has become a regular affair and being truthful and righteous is considered a weakness. Discrimination and inequality are against a special segment of the society. And thus, God is unhappy and keeps warning us to sort out our priorities.

 

A Superiority complex and forced imposition have made this world hell. There is no peace, stability, security and equality in the society. Freedom of speech is merely seen in papers but claimed all over. The poor are becoming poorer and rich are more rich. Thus, poor especially religious minorities are at risk. Hundreds of individuals have been falsely accused because of property disputes or personal vengeance. Blasphemy laws put Christians and other religious minorities at risk. Discriminatory laws have restricted minorities’ representatives to grow in all avenues of life. Touching the Quran or any other book of Islam, expressing or publishing atheistic opinions and preaching of other religions are consider as crime in Pakistan. Christians are often falsely accused of participating in these activities, but in and of themselves these laws are unjust constraints on religious freedom.

 

Christians and other religious minorities should be free to exercise their religion without fear of unjust persecution. This has to end, we must not rest until there is peace, security and equality for Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This creates a stigma which condemns religious minorities to live under the permanent threat of death. The lives of the poor hang on a very thin thread.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

shamim-masih-pakistani-christian-journalist

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text embraced brackets and source links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

Keep Shamim Reporting


Shamim Mahmood – Christian-Pakistani Journalist

 

Shamim has been the primary source in Pakistan demonstrating how Islamic Supremacism has been a devastating tragedy of persecution for Christians by the Sunni Muslim majority. Please take some prayerful consideration to support his oft times dangerous work as a Christian and Journalist in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

 

The best method to send funds to Shamim in Pakistan is Western Union (Name: Shamim Mahmood. City: Islamabad. Phone: +92-300-642-4560). For some reason my favorite money distribution method of Paypal is disallowed in Pakistan.

 

JRH 1/8/16

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Keep Shamim Reporting

 

By Shamim Mahmood [Masih]

Sent 1/8/16 12:28 AM

 

Hello Dear [Friend],

 

Greetings, I hope this email will find you in a good heath. I wish you a very Happy New Year, 2017. I report news that others dismiss and ignore. Please read and learn about my history and let me know how you can help me.

 

I’m an offbeat human rights reporter with a great deal of experience and a proven track record. I have an off and on perception of Islamic largesse in Pakistan. When terrorism strikes, I note the hypocrisy of a Constitution that stipulates equal rights for all Pakistani citizens regardless of religious faith. A Constitution that also stipulates Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Pakistan that follows Sharia Law and enforces Blasphemy Laws that literally can lead to awaiting death sentences in jail, unless an observant Muslim mob kills the accused violator of the Muslim Blasphemy Law first. Due to the unacceptable and prompt reaction attitude prevailing in Pakistan, I have been facing many hurdles but kept on reporting on minorities issues parallel to my official responsibilities.

 

At the dawn of 2017, I conclude that there is no standard place for me in the mainstream work force.  The most good I can do for people is to keep writing and publicizing news, this is where I ask my friends and supporters to contribute a very small monthly amount to keep me out there.

I have supported religious minorities as well as the many victims of discrimination, police brutality, racism, sex abuse and other endemic problems through journalism for many years.  I see the human race as a single entity and I write on behalf of people countrywide.  I used to be a mainstream reporter but found this type of journalism restricting and frankly, over controlled by corporate interests.

Over the past years, I have devoted my time and energy almost exclusively to a number of subjects that most media ignored or reported with great bias.  An outline of my recent efforts includes …. The Gojra incident [Dawn & Express Tribune] that left the killing of seven Christian family members. The breaking story of Rimsha Masih who was a minor Christian girl accused of blasphemy. The twin blasts in Peshawar Church. A Christian couple burnt alive in Kot Radha Kishan. Zafar Bhatti blasphemy accused and still suffering in jail. Others accused under Pakistani Blasphemy include Asia Bibi, Sawan Masih and Nabeel Masih [Christians in Pakistan & BPCA]. And the Youhanabad Church blasts and many more.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. I like you to use Western Union sending money with the destination of Islamabad. Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/ 

+92-300-642-4560

 

 

___________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Reference links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

Pakistani Christians with false hopes of refugee status


pakistan-christians-persecuted

Shamim Mahmood continues to report on the plight of persecuted Pakistani Christians.

 

JRH 9/12/16

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Pakistani Christians with false hopes of refugee status

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent Mon 9/12/2016 12:20 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious extremism has gone to its peak since Afghan refugees entered in Pakistan. Due to the terrorism Pakistan lost thousands of its precious lives and properties. Religious banned outfits have attacked on schools, worship places, parks and even on law enforcement agencies and their places. In the past years those militant organizations have targeted the religious minorities especially Christians. In the latest episode four suicide bombers, wearing suicide vests and carrying latest firearms attacked the Christian Colony, Warsak Dam, Peshawar but due to the prompt action by the security forces they were saved.

 

The Army Chief General Raheel Sharif played an aggressive role in combating terrorism in Pakistan and due his proactive approach the ratio has been decreased. According to the recent statement by DG ISPR Lt. Gen Asim Bajwa, “[The] Pakistan Army has eliminated the militants’ groups in the country.” But the very next day, the spokesperson for TTP JA [See Also HERE], Ehsanullah Ehsan said, “We have carried out the attack.” He said the attack was a response to the Army’s spokesperson (Lt. Gen Asim Bajwa’s) press Conference who said yesterday that militant groups had been eliminated.

 

Religious minorities in Pakistan are already persecuted under stringent blasphemy law. Since military dictator General Zia ul Haq added new clauses in the law, minorities in the country feel insecure. And usually this law is misused and resultantly many people including Muslims either being killed or suffering in the prisons. In this critical condition, militants’ groups turned to attack Christians. Twin blasts in the Peshawar Church killed more than 80 worshipers and left many injured. Two churches were attacked in Youhanabad, Lahore that killed dozens of worshipers and many were injured. Later on the occasion of Easter festivity, suicide bomb blast in Iqbal Park, Lahore killed many innocent people.

 

In this itchy living environment, four years back, persecuted Pakistani Christians started reaching Thailand seeking resettlement in the West. Thailand was one of the few countries that allowed Pakistani easy entry as tourists. And nearly 10,000 Pakistanis have been gathered in Bangkok, and now most of them are living an underground existence. Alas, the UNHCR offered false hope. The typical refugee waits years just for an interview, the first step to receiving official refugee status. So far, no one among them has moved on to Europe, America or anywhere else.

 

In the meantime, Pakistan Today reported that the Hong Kong delegation had contacted the Interior Ministry to take up the issue of increasing number of illegal Pakistani immigrants sneaking entry into Hong Kong with false hopes of “refugee status”. According to the sources, the Thai government did the same about the Pakistani immigrants. Religious minorities in Pakistan face persecution. Christians are disproportionately targeted by blasphemy laws, often as retaliation for commercial and personal disputes. Sectarian murderers are publicly supported and applauded. Public response after the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri is a common example. The Government has failed to protect victims and a “deep-rooted climate of impunity.”

 

Discriminatory attitude, sectarian threats and attacks drove many Christians from their homes. Asylum seekers are struck in Thailand and other neighboring countries and endure a tenuous existence. On arrival the UNHCR typically gives them an appointment set a year or two in the future; the date often is delayed as the appointment approaches. Once the visa expires, the asylum hopefuls are unable to work legally and subject to arrest whenever they leave home. The Thai authorities stake out neighborhoods and raid apartments where refugees are believed to live. Hundreds of unlucky asylum seekers have been ended up in detention and some even died during the mean time. [See BBC and Chuffed.org]

 

Some welfare organizations do their best to help refugees, providing food, sundries and legal aid. But those can only assist a limited number of families. Many of the families’ flow ebbed after word returned to Pakistan that there is no easy exit from Thailand, those already arrived are essentially trapped. They have sold their possessions. But they see no path forward either.

 

The Europeans and the U.S. have accommodated millions of Afghan, Syrians and Egyptian Muslims in their countries; resultantly facing terrorist attacks in their countries.  Why can’t they bear the people with the same faith and values? [Bold Text is Blog Editor’s] The only feasible solution is that the UNHCR High Commissioner is supposed to make a designation with 90 days and should take up this issue on priority bases. And the U.S. and other European Countries should admit people who are not only in desperate need, but “who share the same faith and values” as the people persecuted for their faith are among the best candidates to receive asylum.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Editor Fire Magazine

 

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

shamim-masih-4

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links are by the Editor and all text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

Double Standard


Stop KILLING cHRISTIANS IN Pakistan

Shamim Mahmood – Christian human rights activist – writes about the disparity between Pakistan minorities and the majority Sunni Muslim population. Shamim focuses on the Christian minority which lately has been the victims of horrific acts of Islamic Supremacism.

 

JRH 8/30/16

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Double Standard

 

By Shamim Mahmood

Sent 8/30/2016 1:31 AM

 

Islamabad: Former Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Chaudhry Abdul Majeed said that Pakistan policy regarding Kashmir seems to have failed miserably. Talking in a seminar held under International Lobbying Group Youth for Kashmir, Kashmir’s leadership unanimous call that the parliament should form a national policy of Kashmir, which the government cannot alter and the chairmanship of Kashmir Committee should be withdrawn from Maulana Fazalur Rehman. “We don’t accept a Kashmir Committee, which does not include a Kashmiri,” they added. On the other hand, Foreign Office said that Pakistan has always raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the UN. There is no doubt that Pakistan has always raised India’s human rights violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at all levels and said that it is not India’s internal issue but international issue.

 

Let me give you a clear picture of human rights violation in Pakistan. Christians and minorities in Islamic Republic of Pakistan are often targeted, hated, mistreated, prosecuted all the way from the workplace, in schools, playgrounds, in communities and all the way in the system right to the top. My main concern is about Christians, so they are ignored not only in Pakistan but forgotten worldwide as they are often refused by Western countries and rejected their asylum. For example, tens of thousands Syrian, Afghan, Pakistani and Egyptian Muslims got refugee status in Canada, Australia and European countries but how often do you see Christian refugees from the same countries. Thousands are leading a miserable life and looking for their future in Thailand, but UNHCR and so called international human rights defenders, are silent about their status. Where is Germany the current Chancellor Angela Markel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even Pope Francis, who asked Catholics to accommodate one Muslim refugee family each?

 

If Muslims are unsafe in their own countries, how can one consider that Christians are safe in a Sunni Muslim dominated country, Pakistan? Blasphemy laws are the “official hanging sword” and often misused to kill minorities in Pakistan. According to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) an estimated number has gone to 1,470; those have been charged under the stringent blasphemy laws of Pakistan, until 2015 and 1,116 are recorded in Punjab province alone. NCJP sources added that around 12 are facing death sentences including Asia Bibi, Sawan Masih, Zafar, Anjam Naz and Javed Naz (ALL Christians). More than fifty people accused of blasphemy were murdered during their judicial trials. Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti were killed for talking about this law and its misuse.

 

In the recent past, churches and Christians’ colonies have been attacked and set ablaze. A Christian couple was burnt alive accused of blasphemy. Christian girls are routinely kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam. The government failed to protect lives and properties of Minorities. Government usually lauds about protection and rights given to minorities but practically have done nothing. When government representatives raise a voice about the human rights violation in Kashmir, [it might be] better to think about the human rights violations in Pakistan first.

 

Minorities are not given a right to choose their representative through secret belt [perhaps ballot] vote. It is a violation of basic human right. There is no minister to protect for minorities rights at the federal level. A five percent quota is announced by the previous government but not implemented, most recently; during the recent Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police Rapid Response Force recruitment; IG Islamabad totally ignored this quota. Religious Minister and Minister for Interfaith Harmony at the Federal level are both Muslim.  To fulfill the GSP plus status requirement, the government appointed a retired judge from the same faith as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission. Later in political interest, the government appointed a Christian person as a Federal Minister for Human Rights. Taking the oath as a chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB), Mr. Saddique-ul-Farooq, — PML-N leader — assured all Hindu and Sikh Communities of the world of protection of their properties through impeccable measures. If the government is really interested to serve these minorities group, why don’t they appoint any minority person who can look after their inheritance and can even serve better its communities? [Of interest in relation to minority property in Pakistan: HERE and HERE]

 

A human rights activist, Kashif Nawab, Director (SATH [See Also Facebook]) rejected the measures taken by the present government and said that the government should take minorities in confidence while appointing heads of the institutions like chairman ETPB. He demanded the government to replace Minister for Interfaith Harmony, Peer Amin ul Hasnat and appoint any minority person as well as chairman ETPB. The government should ensure to implement 5 percent quota at all levels. [Perhaps] the government wants minorities to fight for their rights like Kashmiris, he added.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood Editor

Fire Magazine/Online TV

 

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

_______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links and any text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

© Shamim Mahmood

Extremists take Aim at Soft Target


Muslim Torched Church in Pakistan

 

Soft Target

The Oxford Dictionaries Online defined “soft target” as “a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack.”[1]

The terms “soft target” and “hard target” are flexible in nature and the distinction between the two is not always clear.[2] However, typical “soft targets” are civilian sites where people congregate in large numbers; examples include national monuments, hospitals, schools, sporting arenas, hotels, cultural centers, movie theaters, cafés and restaurants, places of worship, nightclubs, shopping centers, and transportation sites (such as railway stations, buses, rail systems, and ferries).[3] Soft targets are contrasted with hard targets, which typically restrict access to the public and have “sufficient security countermeasures in place to provide a high degree of protection against an attack.”[4] Examples of hard targets include airports, government buildings, military installations, foreign embassies, and nuclear power plants.[5] (Wikipedia)

Shamim Masih demonstrates that Pakistani Christians are the soft target of Islamic terrorists in Pakistan. This so-called ally of the USA does nothing as a predominantly Christian nation to urge the Pakistani government to offer protection to persecuted Christians.

JRH 1/23/16

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Extremists take Aim at Soft Target

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 1/23/2016 12:09 AM

ISLAMABAD: Once again Islamic extremists forced sobbing parents rushed into hospitals searching for their children. Taliban insurgents once again hit a soft target at Bacha Khan University on 20th January, 2016 Wednesday. After a month Pakistan observed the first anniversary of the deadly attack on an Army Public School and killed about 150 students and teachers in Peshawar. Four terrorists entered the University and shot killed at least 30 including two teachers. Injured students said the toll could be much higher were it not for a teacher armed with a pistol that briefly held off the attackers before being killed. The attackers had chosen a day to attack when students and faculty members gathered at the school for a poetry recital to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghuffar Khan, the activist and a leader after whom the school is named.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a banned organization claimed the attack through a post on its Facebook page, adding that four attackers were sent to the University. On the other hand, the TTP – Fazalullah group condemned the attack, terming it “against Shariah”. Banned organizations are still operating freely in Pakistan. The government bans an organization; it emerges with a new name, contests elections and even wins some seats and takes part in legislations. Lashkar-e-Tayba, (LeT) [HERE & HERE] banned in 2002, changed its name to Jamat-u-Dawah (JuD) and still working freely under the guise of a welfare trust – often along with Pakistan Army in cases of emergency and one of its main offices in the heart of Islamabad, the capital.

It is observed that recently Islamic militants had chosen and hit soft targets, [such as] educational institutions, worship places and minorities of the country. All Saints Church in Peshawar was attacked in which more than 127 people were killed and over 250 injured. Later; on March 15, 2015, at least 20 people were killed and more than 80 injured when two Taliban suicide bombers attacked two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. But when happened next, the average response after these attacks is exactly the same as any other in the past. “They are not Muslims; terrorists have no religion, its conspiracy and so on. Such oversimplified; sweeping statements have become a part of national discourse in Pakistan.

Islamic radicalization has no boundary and it does not need any set organization, it’s a mindset; as a Pakistani Christian writer, I have been raising a voice against this mind set and when we talk about this mind set; watchdogs usually see and call to threaten for raising a voice of the voiceless people. We have seen such people from all walks of life. The most ridiculous of all has been the response of Ansar Abbasi [Anti-Abbasi but pro- Musharraf & Wikipedia)  and Orya Maqbool Jan [Wikipedia, LUBP & Express Tribune], the same were considered as their negotiators back in 2014.

The year 2016 began with attacks against Pakistani Christians; five different incidents were reported in just first two weeks, on Sunday, January 03, Muslim youth disrupt Christians’ New Year prayer meeting. Muslims in a village Nawapind, in Pasrur who seized a church property have disrupted a prayer meeting at a private residence, a source said. Sources confirmed that local Christians obtained written approval from the district police office. But when Christians began worshipping, some Muslims heading Rashid Jutt reached there and disrupted the meeting. Local police officer, SHO told that police resolved the issue at a village council level meeting [See Also Morning Star News]. On 7 January, the New Apostolic Church in Bath Village, on Multan road was set on fire after New Year celebration in suspicious burnt copies of Bible in Victory Church, Kasur.

On 14 January, a Pakistani Christian man died while in the custody of the notoriously brutal police of Punjab in Kalaske, Gujranwala [Christians in Pakistan: 1/15/16 & 1/16/16]. On the same day, TMA worker in Sialkot was shot dead in the morning whilst cleaning the streets. Nazir Masih, a devout Pakistani Christian and father of five children, the only breadwinner was gunned down. He was struck by four bullets and despite the noise this many shots would have made in the constantly busy streets the gunman remains unknown. Four Christian girls were victimized in different areas of Punjab. Two Pakistani Christians asylum seekers died in Thailand during January.

Extremists are taking soft targets yet our government has not provided any security to churches and educational institutions in the country. Bishop Humphrey Peter said that the government did not provide any security for churches and other institutions. I have not been [able] to understand, where do we stand? What is the future of our children? Security of an individual is purely the responsibility of the govt.

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

Correspondent, Pakistan Today – (About Pakistan Today), Blogger and Human Rights Activist

http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

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Edited by John R. Houk

All links are by the Editor. Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih